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Science Briefing

Pre-eclampsia treatment closer

August 02, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Pre-eclampsia, a potentially deadly disorder that strikes about 5% of pregnant women, may be an autoimmune disease, Texas researchers reported Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

The team injected mice with antibodies isolated from women with the disorder, and the mice showed symptoms of the problem, including dangerously high blood pressure, protein in the urine and placental abnormalities. The effects of the antibodies could be blocked with the drug losartan, but the medication cannot be used in pregnant women because it can harm a fetus. But the findings could point to safer drugs, researchers said.

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